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Question & Answer for Part-Time Support Staff and Student Employee Vote

As you know, OPSEU is seeking to represent part-time support and student employees and employees working in a project of a non-recurring kind at Ontario’s 24 colleges.

As a part-time support staff employee, you have the right to vote on whether you agree or disagree with OPSEU representing you.

There will be a vote to ask whether you agree or disagree with OPSEU representing you.

The vote dates and locations are:

Monday, June 20, 2016 (1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)
Cornwall Campus, 2 St. Lawrence Drive, Room M2420 -

Monday, June 20, 2016 (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)
Brockville Campus, 2288 Parkedale Avenue, Room B206

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon)
Kingston Campus, 100 Portsmouth Ave., Room 01010

Employment Services (Kingston, Sharbot Lake, Ottawa) – Part-time employees can select a location of their choice above for voting purposes (from Kingston, Ottawa, Sharbot Lake)


1. What is this vote about?


OPSEU is seeking to form a union and represent part-time employees on college campuses across Ontario.

2. What exactly will I be voting on?


The question on the ballot will ask "In your employment relations with your employer do you wish to be represented by the union?" Indicate YES if you want to be represented by OPSEU. Indicate NO if you don't want to be represented by OPSEU.

3. Why is it important?

The vote is very important because it will determine if OPSEU represents all of these part-time employees or not. If OPSEU wins the vote, going forward OPSEU will bargain for the wages and working conditions of all of these part-time employees, including students working part-time hours.

4. Who can vote?

Students and Support Staff who work part-time on campuses at every college are included in the application and are eligible to vote

5. 
Is there a limitation on who can vote?

College part-time employees and students who are working now or who worked during the 2015/2016 academic year are eligible to vote.

6. 
I’m not sure if I’m eligible to vote, how do I find out if I can vote?

Ask the college human resources department if you have questions on your eligibility to vote.  You can reach them at 613-544-5400, ext. 1259 for email inquiries, and inquiries about reimbursement for voting, please email at: hrinfo@sl.on.ca



7. 
When will there be a vote?

Monday, June 20, 2016 (1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Cornwall Campus, 2 St. Lawrence Drive, Room M2420

Monday, June 20, 2016 (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)
Brockville Campus, 2288 Parkedale Avenue, Room B206

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon)
Kingston Campus, 100 Portsmouth Ave., Room 01010

E
mployment Services (Kingston, Sharbot Lake, Ottawa) – Part-time employees can select a location of their choice above for voting purposes (from Kingston, Ottawa, Sharbot Lake)

8. 
What happens if the time for the vote happens when I am working? Can I get time off to vote?

You will certainly be given time off to vote if necessary. Please talk to your manager to make arrangements.

9.
What happens if I am not scheduled to work that day? Will I be able to recover some of the costs for travel to come to campus and vote?

All eligible voters who are not scheduled to work on the day the vote is held at our college will be paid 2 hours pay if they attend on campus and exercise their right to vote. Reasonable travel expenses, such as bus fare or parking costs, will be reimbursed with receipts.

10. 
Will my manager or the union know how I voted?

No. The ballot is secret and no one will know how you vote.

11. 
I didn’t sign a union membership card – does that mean I can’t vote?

No. Your eligibility is determined by your employment status with the college.

12. 
Do I have to vote for the union if I signed a union membership card?

No. Even if you signed a membership card it does not mean you have to vote for the union. It is always your choice.

13. 
Can I vote on-line or by phone?

No. The only way to vote will be at polling stations set up on college campuses during posted voting times.

14. 
How many votes does the union have to get to win?

The vote will be decided by a majority of those who show up and cast their vote. If only a few people vote, they will decide this question for everyone across the province. 

UNION MEMBERSHIP

15. 
What if I vote against the union, can I refuse to join the union?

No. You are not able to opt out of union representation if the union wins -- even if you do not vote for OPSEU and even if you did not sign a membership card you will be included.  That is why this issue and this vote involves everyone.

16. 
Do I have to pay dues to join the union?

Yes. Union dues are paid to the union from your earnings.  We understand the amount of dues for OPSEU is generally 1.375% of earnings. For example, if you receive pay of $1,000, then $13.75 will be deducted for union dues.

17. 
What happens if there is a strike?

The union has a legal right to strike if negotiations between the college and the union over the terms of employment are not successful.  Persons on strike do not receive wages for the duration of any strike activity.

18. 
Can OPSEU guarantee me better salary and benefits?

No.  Any changes to salary and benefits must be negotiated between the Colleges and OPSEU.  The current economic climate in Ontario is challenging for the Colleges.  Nothing the Government has said to date makes us optimistic that Colleges will obtain improved funding in the near future.

19. 
Can OPSEU guarantee me employment?

No.  An employer always maintains the right to lay-off for economic reasons and to dismiss for cause.  This right exists in the full-time collective agreements with OPSEU.

20. 
Will unionization change how I arrange when I work and what my rate of pay might be?

Yes. When employees are represented by a union, employers and employees can no longer deal directly with each other when determining such things as hours of work or wages. Those matters must be negotiated with the union.